The winter gardens in autumn

Ditch the Car Star

Everyone who lives, works or studies in Sunderland can earn rewards and prize draw entries for walking, wheeling, cycling and using public transport. At the end of this month one lucky winner will be invited to choose from four Batribike electric bicycles worth up to £1,599 - and two will get a £50 Sunderland Gift Card! Download the free app today via the QR or buttons at the bottom of the page.

This month's Ditch the Car Star is John, a retired Police Officer from Washington who told us that BetterPoints Sunderland had persuaded him to visit places in Sunderland city centre that he hadn't been for years.

I first heard about BetterPoints Sunderland in the Sunderland Echo. I signed up because it looked like an interesting way to combine exercise with objectives like earning rewards and visiting different areas.
I bike three or four times a week but don't tend to go into Sunderland. I live in Washington, not far from the C2C, so I like to ride out to Seaham and up to Beamish. The C2C is fantastic, it's really well used by walkers and people on bikes and horses. The cycle paths are getting better in Sunderland too, there are some good new wide paths.
The main thing I like about the app is that it has prompted me to go to new places. The August Parks campaign especially was very good. I had only ever been to the Museum and Thompson Park for work when I was a Police Officer. The rewards prompted me to visit them and I stopped in for a coffee at Bennelli's a few times and at Thompson Park. I've visited several times since, they're great places to stop off on a ride. I used to play golf at Elmore Park too, so it was really nice to go back there. It was great, they have done a tremendous job on it.
The app is really good at promoting things that are happening locally too - it's a good way of finding out what's going on.
I do have a car but I don't use it that much. I walk and cycle much more and only use the car when I need to. For my normal day-to-day, the car stays in the garage.
I'll be spending my BetterPoints on coffees when I'm out riding!

John smiling at the camera wearing a black t-shirt with a smiley face with an upside-down bicycle for the eyes and nose.
John in his very appropriate t-shirt!

If you would like to be our next Star, share your experience of BetterPoints Sunderland by responding to the in-app survey.

Not yet earning rewards for walking, wheeling, cycling and taking public transport? To join BetterPoints Sunderland simply download the free BetterPoints app via the buttons or QR below and tap Challenges⚡ to get started. If you live outside the Sunderland area you'll need to enter the code bpsooa to join.

Change the way you travel around Sunderland and earn rewards.

Mobile phone with betterpoints app.